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Financier Leonard Ross Declares Bankruptcy!

In September of 2007 Your Mama discussed–at length here, here, here, and here–the opulent and behemoth Beverly Hills, CA estate that attorney and financier Leonard Ross had on the market with a mind melding asking price of $165,000,000. At the time, Mister Ross’s ritzy pink stucco residence was the most expensive property listed on the open market in all of the United States.

The grandiose and fabled estate was taken off the market in 2008 without a buyer to sign on the deed’s dotted line, which is a cryin‘ shame because today word slips down the gossip grapevine that big living Mister Ross has done declared bankruptcy claiming a punishing $40,000,000 in mortgages on the walled and gated hilltop estate now known as The Beverly House Compound. According to the sassy folks who pen the Page Six column of the New York Post, Mister Ross also declared debts of $350,000 owed to the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, $3,000,000 owed to his ex-wife Merri Jean Ross and additional outstanding bills at the Brentwood Country Club and UCLA.

The Mediterranean manse, designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann who also designed the nearby Greystone Mansion and had a hand in the design of Hoover Dam, was built in 1927 for banker Milton Getz. In 1947 the plum property was purchased by married publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst who called the property Beverly House and moved his long time mistress Marion Davies into the main mansion. Mister Hearst died at Beverly House in 1951 and within two weeks Miss Davies moved her extra-curricular man-friend Horace Brown into the mansion. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, right?

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Anyhoo, in 1953 newlyweds John F. and Jacqueline Kennedy spent part of their honeymoon holed up in the palatial pile and the property was used later as the West Coast headquarters for Mister Kennedy’s presidential campaign. The boo-teek hotel sized house was was also featured in The Godfather film including the scene where a producer awakens to find the head of a horse lying next to him in bed.

Mister Brown inherited the property from Miss Davies, subdivided it and sold it in 1966. Our Mister Ross scooped up the main part of the estate in 1976, renovated and restored the structures, whipped the gardens into their former glory, and bought up some of the parcels that have been subdivided and sold off. According to a report in a 2007 article in The Los Angeles Times, Mister Ross attempted to sell the estate in the late 1980s with an asking price of $25,000,000.

The multi-parcel property sprawls across 6.25 meticulously manicured but kind of old-fashioned acres behind the Beverly Hills Hotel and includes a titanic 20,000+ square foot main mansion, 3 additional residences plus a separate apartment and cottage for security staff. There are, according to multiple previous reports, a total of 29 bedrooms, a heart stopping 40 poopers, 3 swimming pools, 2 tennis courts, and a damn disco.

Your Mama had a chit-chat this morning with an well connected informant we’ll call The Birthday Boy who had opportunity to visit the property a few years back and didn’t have the nicest things to say about the property. The Birthday Boy told Your Mama–and we quote here–”The house was classic faded aristocracy. It needed new carpet, new paint, etc. The landscaping was kind of overgrown and the hardscape was falling apart.” The Birthday Boy did, however, have very complimentary things to say about both Mister Ross and his much younger wife Nataalia Rey.

Now that Mister Ross’s finances have gone belly up, can we expect to see his historic and legendary house go back on the market with a more reasonable and realistic asking price? Your Mama, like everyone else, waits on pins and needles to see what happens.

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